EPA- and DHA-derived resolvins' actions in inflammatory bowel disease

Eur J Pharmacol. 2016 Aug 15;785:156-164. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.08.050. Epub 2015 Aug 29.


Inflammatory bowel diseases are chronic diseases divided into two major forms, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, which are both associated with a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Recent studies have shown that the resolution of inflammatory conditions is a biosynthetically active process where new pro-resolution lipid mediators derived from omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), such as E- and D-series resolvins, protectins, and macrophage mediator in resolving inflammation (maresins), have potent anti-inflammatory activity and serve as specialised mediators that play an important role in the resolution of inflammation. Recent studies have also shown the role of resolvins in referred hyperalgesia associated with different inflammatory processes, such as the visceral pain caused by inflammatory bowel disease. There are many reports describing the principal effects of EPA- and DHA-derived mediators in experimental models of inflammatory bowel diseases. This review focuses on the recent studies on the important role played by pro-resolution lipid mediators in controlling the inflammatory process associated with inflammatory bowel diseases.

Keywords: Experimental models; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Omega-3 fatty acid; Pro-resolution; Resolvins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / metabolism*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / physiopathology
  • Nociception
  • Visceral Pain / complications


  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid